Friday, June 30, 2023

The Australian War Memorial preserved this photo of captured German sailors 
getting an on deck bath. The guy in uniform makes me think World War I.



  1. Yes, and that's not a RAN uniform, either. The RAN was in European waters during WWI. Who could forget the carnage of Gallipoli. On a lighter note, one of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's less shady characters he had as a friend had married a pair of beautiful legs in a former telephonist from, I believe, Chicago, who was beautiful but completely uneducated. He later died and she decided to spend a not inconsiderable fortune travelling in Europe. Upon her return, the Duke asked her if she had liked the Dardanelles, to which she replied, "Hated her, loved him".

    1. "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"

      When I was a young man I carried me pack
      And I lived the free life of the rover
      From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback
      I waltzed my Matilda all over
      Then in 1915 my country said: Son,
      It's time to stop rambling, there's work to be done
      So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
      And they sent me away to the war

      And the band played Waltzing Matilda
      When the ship pulled away from the quay
      And amid all the tears, flag waving and cheers
      We sailed off for Gallipoli

      It well I remember that terrible day
      When our blood stained the sand and the water
      And how in that hell they call Suvla Bay
      We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
      Johnny Turk, he was ready, he primed himself well
      He rained us with bullets, and he showered us with shell
      And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell
      He nearly blew us back home to Australia

      And the band played Waltzing Matilda
      When we stopped to bury our slain
      Well we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
      Then it started all over again

      Oh those that were living just tried to survive
      In that mad world of blood, death and fire
      And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
      While around me the corpses piled higher
      Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head
      And when I awoke in me hospital bed
      And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
      I never knew there was worse things than dying

      Oh no more I'll go Waltzing Matilda
      All around the green bush far and near
      For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs
      No more waltzing Matilda for me

      They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
      And they shipped us back home to Australia
      The armless, the legless, the blind and the insane
      Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
      And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay
      I looked at the place where me legs used to be
      And thank Christ there was no one there waiting for me
      To grieve and to mourn and to pity

      And the Band played Waltzing Matilda
      When they carried us down the gangway
      Oh nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared
      Then they turned all their faces away

      Now every April I sit on my porch
      And I watch the parade pass before me
      I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
      Renewing their dreams of past glories
      I see the old men all tired, stiff and worn
      Those weary old heroes of a forgotten war
      And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
      And I ask myself the same question

      And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
      And the old men still answer the call
      But year after year, their numbers get fewer
      Someday, no one will march there at all

      Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
      Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?
      And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong
      So who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

      To be sung to the tune of Waltzing Maltida, writers: Eric Bogle.

    2. I'll never forget they way they used Waltzing Matilda in the movie On the Beach.